Magnificent Beauty and Cultures of Yamaguchi
Magnificent Beauty and Cultures of Yamaguchi
Yamaguchi is located on the westernmost of Japan's main island, bordering Hiroshima and Shimane on the east and Fukuoka in Kyushu Island on the west. Yamaguchi is quiet and rural. Its pace is comfortably laid-back, yet easily reached by Shinkansen (bullet train) from major cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Hiroshima.

Yamaguchi offers magnificent historical significance. Hagi is a city that used to be the capital of a significant samurai domain and is one of the most beautifully preserved castle towns and a unique local style of pottery. Yamaguchi is also renowned for stunning natural landscapes, including beautiful beaches, a crystal clear hidden pond, and the largest mystic limestone cave in Japan.

  • Private Visit to Akiyoshi-do, the Largest Cave in Japan
Distance from nearest ryokan: 30 min by car from Otozure/OTANISANSO

Akiyoshi-do is one of Japan's largest limestone caves, which opens 100 meters underground in Akiyoshidai National Park at the park's southern foot. After passing through the chilly cedar grove that touches your skin, you will reach the entrance to Akiyoshi-do. The cave course is about 1 kilometer (approx. 3,281 feet), which makes the total length exceed 10.7 kilometers (approx. 35,105 feet) and is the second-largest in Japan. The cave's temperature is constant at 17 degrees Celsius (approx. 63 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year, which is cool in summer and warm in winter. The mysterious natural sculptures in the cave that seem to freeze time are rich in variety and will evoke a great impression in your heart.

  • Private Visit to the Crystal Clear of Beppu Benten Pond
Distance from nearest ryokan: 20 min by car from Otozure/OTANISANSO

Beppu Benten Pond is spring water that stands quietly in the precincts of Beppu Itsukushima Shrine at the foot of Akiyoshidai and Akiyoshi-do, which are famous scenic spots nationwide. Beppu Benten Pond has also been selected as one of the "Best 100 Water in Japan" designated by Japan's Ministry of the Environment. Beppu Benten Pond boasts an abundant amount of spring water of 11 tons per minute. The water temperature is constant at 14 to 15 degrees Celsius (approx. 57 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year. You may also drink the spring water and bring it back home from the dedicated water supply station. The place is also believed to be a spiritual site, which people call it because if you drink one cup of water, you will live one year longer, and if you drink two cups, you will live two years longer.

The secret of this blueness lies in this region's unique karst terrain, which is composed of limestone. At Beppu Benten Pond, highly transparent water containing calcium is gushing. The spring water is illuminated by sunlight, and only blue light is reflected, making it look like this mysterious blue. The weather that makes the pond look most beautiful is sunny when light is efficiently reflected. The pond is the beauty of cobalt blue like the emerald green of jewels, and visitors just cannot take their eyes off of the mysterious color.

  • Visit a Local’s Favorite Yakitori Izakaya, “Komori”
Distance from nearest ryokan: 10 min by car from Otozure/OTANISANSO

There are about 30 yakitori restaurants in Nagato City, a port town facing the Sea of Japan in the northern Yamaguchi with about 34,000 people. This is making the largest number of yakitori restaurants in Japan per 10,000 people. There is a little cozy local's favorite yakitori izakaya, Komori, which is the oldest restaurant in Nagato City in this town. It has been more than 70 years since the restaurant was founded.

The restaurant's inside with a small counter is always crowded with local regulars and tourists, looking to have the taste of mother's home cooking and her professional skill of yakitori that has been inherited for many decades. Their yakitori made from Choshu chicken tastes like heaven, and it is also excellent with drinks. Enjoy their deliciousness of the fresh chicken from the market every morning and locals' favorite Nagato's inherited traditional taste.